|A four star classic hike today. We climbed up the Mammoth crest Trail which begins at 9000 feet and lies just to the south east of Mammoth ski mountain. The trail quickly ascends a rocky face and then begins countless switchbacks until the summit of the hike. It is a relentless and steady upward climb. We made a 1/4 mile diversion into Crystal Lake which is clustered in a valley at 9600 feet. It was a gorgeous blue alpine lake which tempted one to spend time there. We lingered a bit and then we resumed our climb. Near the summit the trail ascends a red lava dome full of the cinder rock. Finally one reaches the crest and miles upon miles of scenic beauty unfold before the eyes in all directions. The many lakes of the area are visible below. The altitude is 10475 feet and all exertion comes with greater effort and heavy breathing. The special views make it all worthwhile. We traveled a total of 6.75 miles and were well spent at the terminus. We covered 1670 vertical feet. We had a late lunch at Angel's -a very nice BBQ joint in town.